Thursday, April 21, 2016

Promoting STEM Education in Developing Nations

I recently became acquainted with the Benignant STEM Innovation Foundation, which promotes education in math and science in order to open up opportunities for children, especially girls, in developing countries. Check out their website for information about their mission and educational initiatives that help poor students pursue a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

You may also want to read Escape Velocity, the story of a Nigerian girl's journey from poverty to founder and CEO of an aerospace company.  This is the vision of the Benignant STEM Innovation Foundation--to create success stories all over the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Say "Yes" and See What Happens!

Carl Medearis shares the adventures he and his family experienced when they said "yes" to God's call to minister in the Middle East.  Some adventures are profound, some are dangerous, some are downright hysterical.

As the subtitle calls this story "a journey from fear to faith" the book challenges all Christians to take the plunge.  Why not answer yes instead of staying safely in your house and your pew?  Perhaps this story of amazing things God did through people who said yes when it would have certainly seemed safer to say no will inspire readers to take a small step of faith.  Volunteer, teach, learn a new skill, or even sell everything and move across the ocean.

I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher and recommend it for teens and older, or for a family read-aloud time with a missions emphasis. Adventures in Saying Yes is in my church library, and I recommend it for yours as well.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Captive DVD Drawing

This movie is based on a true story.  Ashley Smith was held hostage by Brian Nichols after he escapes from an Atlanta courthouse and evades police.  During tense hours of captivity, Ashley learns she and Brian have some problems in common.  Both of them have important choices to make.

Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life plays a role as Ashley reads from the book and manages to connect with her captor in a way that causes him to let her go.

There is violence and drug use, but only as it is integral to the story. I appreciated the dedication of the movie to Brian Nichols' victims.  Each is depicted in the movie and photos are shown in the credits to honor them.  See more at the official movie website.

Comment on this blog post by Friday, January 29 to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of the DVD.  I received a complimentary review copy from Flyby Promotions.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lessons from an Extraordinary Mother: Mary

Instead of pop-culture parenting advice, Sarah Jakes looks to the life of Mary for answers and inspiration for her own experiences as a mother.  Mary was a humble girl chosen to play a huge role in the plan of God to redeem mankind.

As mothers, why not look at the historical record of the woman God chose to mother His own Son?  A mortal like us, with fears, dreams, doubts--yet Mary submitted herself to the plan of God.  That sounds like a pattern I should follow.

I received a free review copy of Dear Mary from Bethany House publishers for my honest review.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fantasy Novel: The Shock of Night

The Darkwater Saga by Patrick W. Carr begins with The Shock of Night.  Willet Dura serves the king by investigating crimes.  Things get frightening when Willet receives an unexpected gift that puts him in league with a small group of people who are not supposed to exist anymore.  Add to that the fact that Willet has a dark secret hidden away in his mind, where he cannot retrieve it.

Lovers of mystery and of fantasy can both enjoy this novel.  I will be adding this series to my church library, looking forward to future installments.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dangerous Beauty Series Continues

Angela Hunt has a gift for imagining the lives of women about whom the Bible tells us only the essentials.  Using the Bible and other history of the times, she has fleshed out a fictional account of the life of Bathsheba--the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David's Might Men.  Stolen by the king, Bathsheba endured the loss of her husband by David's plot and the loss of her infant son by God's judgement.

She also went on to give birth to Solomon, future king of Israel and builder of the first Temple.  What must it have been like to be her?  I believe Angela Hunt has given an excellent story that might be close the truth.

As a church librarian and lover of history, I recommend Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty as part of a fiction collection.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

Dangerous Beauty series on Amazon

Book of Nehemiah Comes to Life

On this Foundation by Lynn Austin is the third volume of The Restoration Chronicles.

Using careful historical research to inform the storytelling, Austin offers historical fiction heavy on the history.  The story of Nehemiah's faith and leadership in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem against tremendous opposition is a story we need today.

If you like romance without silly sappiness, courage without hubris, and faith with flaws, this story is a very human and uplifting read.

I highly recommend the entire Restoration Chronicles series for church and home libraries.  

I received a free review copy of On this Foundation from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest opinion as a church librarian.